How we got into this mess
To the editor:
The way the network news people tell it, it's a big mystery. The deficit, I mean. And states are broke. Mystery? My gramma's corset laces! It's been looming the past 30 years.
Let's say it all started when everyone went to computers to do the work
of an army of clerks (and pocketed the saved wages as profit).
Next they (the big industrial corporations) went for automation. And
that eliminated many thousands of jobs. And took a whack out of their
market because all these laid off workers could no longer buy the stuff
they used to make. Not incidentally, public services spending increased
sharply to help these laid off people.
The next bright corporate idea was moving the factories to Korea,
Mexico, China, India, anyplace with coolie wages and no unions. And we
haven't even mentioned the several great corporate scams that finally
collapsed the economy.
Now the only thing those guys running things can think of is to slash
basic services. Cut more jobs. Slash the wages of jobs remaining.
So where do we go from here?
Electronics, automation, the internal combustion engine, television and
other things have reshaped our world - sometimes for the better and
sometimes not. Each of these, as labor-saving devices, should have
resulted in a sharing of the resultant reduced number of jobs by either
a shortened work day or week at the same wages. But that would not be
very profitable to the owners. As it happened, corporations, being
about profits, not human well-being, opted to go for profit only and
I have long wondered how we, the majority class, would be able to
wrestle with the powerful corporations who have all but swallowed us
and our democracy, because we have no large political party with which
to take 'em on electorally, while they have two.
The protests in Wisconsin and Ohio may provide the answer. If it lasts
long enough, and if we win, may come a happy resolution of the present
Great Recession, a new major political party and actual full employment.